Should you wear tights or pantyhose to an interview ?


I've been in the midst of a continuing?conversation about whether you should - or shouldn't - wear pantyhose to a job interview. Even the Wall Street Journal has gotten involved in the discussion about bare legged ladies, noting that many older managers are feeling frumpy, even though they grew up during an era when you would never leave the house without pantyhose when you were going to work, let alone on a job interview.
This could be a generational issue, especially since many younger women don't ever wear panty hose, regardless of the circumstances or the weather. 

What do you think?

 Should you wear pantyhose to an interview, or doesn't it matter?

Answers and opinions:

I hate panty hose, but I think it’s important to look professional when interviewing for any office-based job. Women with very tan, smooth and unblemished legs, and shoes that cover much of the foot, can probably get away with not wearing hose, as it can be hard to tell the difference. With a pants suit, a woman can wear trouser socks.
  • Obviously, if you’re interviewing to be a lifeguard, corporate garb might actually interfere with the appropriate image for the job.

  • I agree with Jennifer. If you are tanned and your legs are smooth and blemish free I think it is fine but otherwise put them on. More important than hose I think are shoes. Have professional looking shoes and leave the sandals/flip-flops/sneakers (seen all 3 in interviews before) for the beach

  • Women should always be in pantyhose. Its a part of looking professional. Bare legs looks horrible even on 21 year old women in NYC. Pantyhose looks professional, classy, elegant, and several other things i wont say. “Sexy” there I said it. And in NYC women in the suits and summer skirts with flip flops and sneakers is completely unsuitable and horrible looking.

  • A (female) boss I had in the mid- to late-90s had a policy that women in the office were supposed to wear pantyhose, and was told by HR that such a mandate is illegal…as it should be…so I can’t imagine that it’s legal to require a woman to wear a skirt or dress to work either

  • As a man who works in an office environment I have grown up with strong gender roles. Not to sound like I am 90 years old, I am 31, but I believe in a man who wears a suit and a woman who either wairs a pant suit or a blouse and skirt with hosiery. Many women from a young age detest wearing pantyhose because they feel it is an uncomfortable garment, but as another woman already wrote, stay ups, or thigh highs as they are called in my neck of the woods, are a perfectly suitable alternative. A classic garter belt with stockings may revive imagery of something out of a steamy novelette, but also works around the office. Although some women may feel that only the old women around the office wear nylons, I believe it does look much more professional than bare legged women I see interning during the summer walking around in flip flops. I will admit, that as a man, and even though there shoouldnt be room for this around the office, I feel a women’s legs look much better in hosiery, than not. But thats just a personal opinion

  • I’ve been reading up about what to wear to an interview and it seems that skirtsuits are a better option than pantsuits. So, if you don’t have tanned, blemish-free legs you should wear pantyhose. A pantsuit with trouser socks may not work and it would be better to heed on the side of conservatism and just wear the skirted suit with pantyhose.

  • Yah, I’m old school and I wear pantyhose to an interview. And guess what, I rarely wear a pants suit to an interview. I know I look good in a skirt, so why not dress in a way that is professional and becoming? After I get the offer, I can dress in slacks or w/o pantyhose as long as I’m not breaking the dress code.
    • To the person who says pantyhose are uncomfortable, I say, so are bras and for that matter shoes. But we wear them in the workplace, too.And to the person who said her HR Director told her it was illegal to make wearing pantyhose a dress code policy. Wrong. It is not. A company has a right to determine it’s dress code. It can be different between departments within the same company, and quite often, is.

Unsuited and booted? You're not hired

A survey shows that British bosses are very particular about interview candidates' outfits

They say appearance isn't everything, but when it comes to making a first impression with a potential future boss, clearly it is.

According to a recent survey by careers website TheLadders, 37% of bosses say they have decided against hiring an applicant because of the way they dressed.

Judging what to wear for an interview is no easy affair: sometimes you need a suit, sometimes you don't; sometimes you've never worn a suit in your life, so when you finally do you can't help but look like a 16-year-old trying to look grown up on work experience.

But based on the responses of 500 British bosses, the Ladders survey found that more than half of interviewers would hold it against male applicants if they failed to wear a tie, a jacket, or turned up in chinos. More than 70% would also raise more than a worried eyebrow if an interviewee turned up in a leather jacket, jeans or a polo shirt.

Meanwhile, 99% of bosses interviewing female applicants say they would be inclined to mark them down if they wore dangly jewellery, while almost 95% find low-necked tops and no tights unsuitable interview attire.

And any women considering livening up the interview room à la Lucinda Ledgerwood from the Apprentice, don't: more than 80% of interviewers think it is inappropriate to wear red to an interview too.

So what exactly can you wear? Style expert Simon Chilverssays you can't go wrong with "traditional" suits for business or office interviews, and he also has ideas for more laid-back interview attire. After all, it is always embarassing turning up fully suited when no one expects you to.

Male                                                             Female


  • black socks 77%
  • black leather shoes 56%
  • tailored navy single breasted suit 51%
  • white or blue long sleeved shirt 48%
  • cufflinks 37%
  • low key tie 35%
  • no handkerchief showing 35%
  • tights 94%
  • high heels 69%
  • mid-length black skirt or dress 64%
  • pearls 56%
  • long sleeved and collared shirt or blouse 42%


  • no tie 52% no jacket 50%
  • chinos 50%
  • polo shirts 66%
  • jeans 82%
  • T shirts 88%
  • leather jackets 70%
  • dangling jewellery 99%
  • big shoulder pads 97%
  • low necklines 95%
  • bare legs 94%
  • sports shoes 91%
  • short skirt 60%

My own personal opinion is if your unsure, wear them. If the weather is warm go for a sheer nude hose. Don't wear bright or busy patterned tights just plain.  At the end of the day you are out to make the best impression and this way you and your legs will be shown in the best possible light.

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